WALLINGFORD — Wallingford Community Theater will present the musical production “Mary Poppins” early next month.
”This is an enormous show. My staff told me we picked a challenging show, “ said stage and music director Mary Ellen Kingsland-Eckels.
The show will run Aug. 2, 3, and 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the Lyman Hall High School Auditorium.
Eckels said the production consists of more than 100 cast members, from ages 4 to mid 70s, and more than 200 crew members. The cast learned challenging choreography and musical arrangements, with some selections that include “intricate five part harmonies.”
”We have probably the most powerful and talented cast, musically that we’ve ever had,” Eckels said.
The entire production process – from auditions to dress rehearsals – took about two months. A severe storm and microburst in May, set the production back about a week.
“We kind of lost a week of rehearsals,” she said. “So everybody buckled down and worked any way.”
Eckels said to make up for lost time, cast members practiced choreography and music at home in addition to the scheduled rehearsals.
Eckels said she selected a show that allowed children and adults to participate.
”When we choose a production we have to think in terms of a 6 to 8 week show that is family friendly and would have adequate parts and roles for all ages,” she said.
Town Council member Chris Shortell said the Wallingford Community Theater is an integral part of the community.
”You have a mix of students and adults of all ages that participate in the show,” Shortell said.
Eckels said although the work has been challenging at times, she hopes that she was able to teach life skills and make it fun for everyone.
”In the world today we need to smile,” Eckels said. “We need to forget our troubles and I think theater is a way to do that.”
Tickets are available at Amici salon, Geremia Farms, Gallagher Travel Shoppe, Connie's Kitchen, and at brownpapertickets.com. The tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for those 12 and under.